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BOok Review: Slash

August 12, 2008
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The most striking thing about this book is just how matter-of-fact Slash is in relating his life. He pulls no punches, and makes no apologies. As I read books about rockstars, it always interests me to see what kind of themes are hidden within the book. Nikki Sixx’s book focused on drug abuse, Tommy Lee’s focused on who he is as a person-what he loves, what means the most to him, what he hates….Slash focuses on what its like to be in a band, and he tells it like it is. It could just be that he was a member of one of the most notorious, excessive bands of all time-Guns N Roses, and that his bandmember was the exceedingly dramatic Axl Rose, but he sure has a lot of stories to tell. You can almost feel the tension grow as you progress through the chapters. You see how touring affected him as a person, and how his life was changed and influenced by decisions he made as a member of Guns. By the end, I didn’t feel too mad at Slash for leaving GNR, anymore. And frankly, there seems to be a fair amount of underlying resentment toward Axl-its never outright stated, but between the lines, it is evident that Slash still has some issues to work out with his former bandmate.

There are a lot of anecdotes about the past, but unlike many other rockstars, Slash doesn’t ever bother to distinguish between his life then and his life now. Whereas many rockers are quick to point out that they’ve long grown out of the sleazy lifestyles they were known for in the 1980’s, and now they’ve traded drugs for diapers, I don’t feel like Slash is telling stories from the distant past…his decadent drugs/sex/rock n roll lifestyle really didn’t end until he checked himself into rehab about 2 years ago. He isn’t a role model, hes a gutter rat and a rocker, that is clear. Throughout the whole book, I kept waiting for him to post a disclaimer label: “Here Slash used bad judgement-do not do what he did, do not try this at home.” but the disclaimer never comes. Like I said, he makes no apologies and no excuses. He just tells what happens, and thats all there is to it.

What I know now that I didn’t know before reading this book:
~I better understand what led to the fall of GNR
~I know what Slash is like when he is drunk
~I know what LA street kids do all day
~ I know who Slash slept with.
~I know that Slash has a completely different set of values than I do.

but I still don’t know who Slash is. He tells all, but he doesn’t bare all, and by the time I reached the last page, I still felt like I don’t understand him any better. Maybe I had too great of expectations. Maybe I wanted him to show his intellectual side-give a list of books that influenced his life like Tommy did, tell what he thinks about the major issues going on in the world today, what his opinion is on global warming…But maybe Slash doesn’t have that side of him. Maybe he just doesn’t go that deep, or maybe he just doesn’t want to share. I realize that giving a complete expose of his most intimate thoughts is not the purpose he had in writing this book, so I can’t fault him for it. I just feel like there is a piece missing that could fill in the gap and better explain who Slash really is, underneath his hard-livin’, LA Bad boy persona.

overall, 4 stars-well written, thorough, honest, and interesting. A must for any Guns N Roses fan…or just a casual reader. it will enlighten you, somehow or another.

Rock ON!

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